Cases of dehydration increase as it gets hot

By Ashley Swann - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - While enjoying summer fun outdoors, many people think they're just too busy to stop and take a drink of water. What can start out as simply thirst can quickly turn life-threatening on a hot day.

Today, doctors are warning all of us to keep the water & sports drinks handy, this as they continue to see more and more cases of dehydration going around.

"The biggest thing to remember is the body is made up of 75% water, so when you get out into the sun, either if you're a worker or an athlete, your body is going to perspire and sweat quite a bit, so you're going to lose that water, lose that bodily fluid - when that happens, you're going to get dehydrated," said Dr. Scott Greenfield of Patient First's Midlothian Center.

To keep that from happening, Dr. Greenfield says, you must stay hydrated - especially with fluids that have an electrolyte balance - like Gatorade or Powerade. Avoid alcohol, as that will only dehydrate you more. And be aware of the trouble signs like dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting.

"The thing to remember with dehydration is it can lead to heat exhaustion, heat cramps & heat stroke...which can actually be life threatening. You're also losing salts through your skin, through your sweat, so you can also get an electrolyte imbalance, you can get a lowering of your sodium & potassium & those can also be life-threatening as well," said Dr. Greenfield.

Dr. Greenfield says anyone with serious symptoms of dehydration - like a serious headache or vomiting - should seek treatment immediately.

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